Iran: Farshid Fathi’s appeal is rejected

Farshid Fathi has lost his appeal against an additional one-year prison sentence, reports Middle East Concern, adding that Iranian Christians are disappointed and concerned that the sentence has been upheld, In February 2012 Farshid was convicted of action against national security, co-operating with foreign organisations and evangelism, and sentenced to a total of six years’ imprisonment. […]

House of Commons: the Queen’s Speech and FoRB

On Monday 1 June the House of Commons debate on the Queen’s Speech included a focus on issues of foreign policy. Here are some extracts: Rehman Chishti: In tackling extremism, one has to create a tolerant world, but in 130 countries there is persecution of people based on their faith. Does the right hon. Gentleman agree […]

House of Lords: the Queen’s Speech and FoRB

On Thursday 28 May the House of Lords debate on the Queen’s Speech included a focus on issues of foreign policy. Here are some extracts: Bishop of Coventry Tackling the international challenges identified in the gracious Speech demands determined campaigns to build peace and stability on many levels. I will mention only two. First, there […]

Norway launches parliamentary network for Freedom of Belief

Last November we reported the Oslo launch of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (here). Today Norwegian Parliamentarians are launching their national network/committee, following in the footsteps of similar initiatives in Brazil, Pakistan and Canada. Every party in the Norwegian parliament is now on board and are reported to have welcomed this […]

Burma agrees to attend meeting on Rohingya migrant crisis

After a flurry of diplomatic activity, the government of Burma has said that it will send representatives to a regional meeting in Bangkok on 29 May aimed at resolving the continuing humanitarian crisis of migrants stranded at sea in Southeast Asia and addressing the larger issue of human trafficking. Burma, which has previously refused to attend any conference […]

Action urged for seven Bahá’í leaders in prison in Iran

It is seven years this month since seven Bahá’í leaders in Iran were arrested and imprisoned. The Bahá’í Community of the UK are calling for the anniversary to be marked by action in the UK, through people writing to their newly-elected MP, requesting that they urge the Foreign Secretary to write to President Rouhani of Iran and press […]

Burma: Kachin face further oppression from Army

Humanitarian aid group the Free Burma Rangers reports that on 19 January in Kawng Hka Village in Northern Shan State, two Kachin girls – Maran Lu Ra (20) and Tangbau Hkawn Nan Tsin (21) – were savagely raped and then clubbed to death by Burmese soldiers. The girls, missionaries sent out by the Kachin Baptist […]

Amnesty reports the vulnerability of Christians in Libya

A new Amnesty International briefing published this week highlights that Christian migrants and refugees in Libya are at particular risk of abuse from armed groups aiming to impose their own interpretation of Islamic law. Refugees and migrants across Libya face rape, torture and abductions for ransom by traffickers and smugglers, as well as systematic exploitation […]

Mediterranean refugees: many are fleeing persecution

Among the record numbers of migrants from Africa and Asia who are dying in European waters, many are fleeing war and poverty, but there also is a religious dimension: some of the migrants are Christians, unable to freely practice their faith in their home countries, says a recent report by World Watch Monitor. At least […]

US Commission calls for full recognition of religious freedom

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its 2015 Annual Report last month. This year’s report, the 16th since the Commission’s creation in 1998, documents religious freedom violations in 33 countries, makes country-specific recommendations, and assesses the U.S. government’s implementation of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). “Not a day goes by without […]